Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

There’s a misnomer for ya, eh? Try as I might to wrap my head around it, I honestly don't get it.

Part of the reason why religion and Sully are incompatible beasts is largely to do with my inability to refrain from something for some arbitrary reason. Criminal as it may be, I like a bit of logic in my life. So I ask questions. Questions like ‘why’. ‘Why’ questions are easy enough to answer if the task you’re assigned makes sense.

Unfortunately, these simple answers are not the forte of the Catholic Church. There’s no answer you can give me that will satisfy the question of why Catholics don’t eat meat on Good Friday. Not unless you can find Jesus’ will, and quote the section in which the water-walking fisherman mandates that all his followers, from this point on, will abstain from the flesh of an animal that didn’t have gills, to ensure the economic survival of his noble vocation long after his demise (should be right after the section in which he writes something that irrefutably proves that he has omniscient powers).

I get the whole ‘penance’ thing, I do, but the concept is still flimsy. I appreciate the Lenten tradition of self-discipline, 40 days is a solid stint of self-deprivation - as opposed to this one blip of an inconvenience. It used to be every Friday! I’m glad we whittled the ridiculous practice down from 52 instances to 1. I just hope we don’t have much further to go.

If something doesn’t harm anybody, I don’t see why religion stands in the way of it. Two consenting members of the same sex want to get it on in a responsible, private manner? No harm done. A couple who don’t want to get pregnant use contraception? Nobody’s been hurt there. The killing, stealing, and all that other philosophical guidance from religion is fine by me. The ritualistic practices aren’t.

Just in case you’re curious as to what set me off today, it was my trip to Superquinn earlier on, where the part of the shop that sells alcohol was entirely partitioned off:

I don’t give a toss about alcohol, but I do about freedom. I have no idea why the government ever saw fit to outlaw the sale of booze on this particular day, but I’m sure it has something to do with the Catholic Church’s influence that we’re thankfully growing out of.

Think of all the alcoholics that finally got around to committing suicide today, then tell me that Good Friday is still a good idea.


Anonymous said...

"If something doesn’t harm somebody, I don’t see why religion stands in the way of it."

If Religion doesn't harm somebody, I don' t see why people stand in teh way of it.The idea of religion is inherently good.Its poor in execution due to the fact that men(and I put women under this umbrella) are put into positions of power.Just look at politics,thats just as bad as religion.If you say it sin;t then youare simply being foolish and naive.
I know what the opposition to this point is going to say..."Who,if not man, will be in power?" and that simply a question that cannot be answered.

Sully said...

Thanks for your comment. I'll try not to get too heavy or polemical, because this isn't that kind of blog (look at the next post about the Sonic Cartoons if you want confirmation).

I will agree with you - the idea of religion is good. The execution is atrocious. I also agree that politicians are susceptible to corruption. You're absolutely right on these points.

Your suggestion as to what the opposing point will be is inaccurate, as it assumes that there is something other than man to be in power. If you suppose that there is an omnipotent being "in power" right now, you're sorely mistaken.

The bottom line is that democratic systems could work IF everybody was interested, but that isn't going to happen, as lay people aren't interested enough (partly because religion teaches people to be happy with what they got and to wait until the afterlife to reap the benefits of their frugal existence).

I'd like to pick up on the words "foolish and naive" that you used in your comment. Religion is foolish and naive, because it demands supplication to inane practices without question, in the gussied up guise of 'faith'. I won't get too far into this now, but trust me when I say that religion simply doesn't hold up to critical thinking.

To come back to my point of lamenting why religion arbitrarily "stands in the way" of certain practices, just think for a second of what homosexuals are put through by religions. Christian beliefs tear families apart by telling them that a particular biological predisposition is "an abomination", and lives have been destroyed by people who feel they have to suppress their natural urges (often entering the clergy, putting them in positions of trust that are abused once that pressure manifests itself in a manner that traumatises another innocent human being).

I will agree - religion has been most useful for the civilising process of our race (and I mentioned this in the line about the 'philosophical guidance'), but we know a lot more about the world and have developed a far greater sense of morality than anything that the chaps who wrote the Bible 3500 years ago had to offer.

We've grown up as a race (most of us, at least) - too much to base our lives on a poorly assembled collection of fairy tales. Think of how much faster we could progress if brilliant young minds weren't being shackled with ideological blinkers and distracted with ritualistic nonsense. I'd like to think that this could be achieved in my lifetime, and in the meantime I'll continue to promote critical thinking in the casual fashion you see here.

Once again, thanks for reading, and sharing your valid points without getting hostile. If you ever feel compelled to leave another comment, please use a handle other than 'anonymous'. :)